Sick and Tired

Whenever a new teacher starts out in the job, they get sick.  After a few weeks of being exposed to those elementary school germs, superman himself would fold as if the little ones were made of Kryptonite.  It cannot be avoided.

Each year I would catch something from the little darlings.  Colds and flu were common and would go through the staff like a prairie grass fire.  One year, while teaching grade 4, we had occasion to celebrate with a medieval feast in the gym.  All of the grade 4s in our school were inducted into “The Order of St. Christopher”, and we had a “knighting” ceremony in the gym with a chicken dinner.  The next day, 15 of my 25 students were home sick.  And several more went home throughout the day.

We thought it may have  been the chicken purchased from a local restaurant so we called in the Department of Health.  They did a thorough inspection of the restaurant and several children had to provide “samples” for the health department to test.  Turns out it was one student who had the stomach flu and kindly passed it  on to all the friends sitting at her table.  That one I thankfully avoided but the school still talks about it to this day.

The worst situation arose when I would get sick on the weekends.  I would hang on all week because of report cards or parent/teacher interviews, and collapse when I got home on Friday evening.  I’d be fine by Monday, which hardly seems fair.  

The worst happened about ten years ago.  When school ended on June 30th, several colleagues and I took part in Hands on IT, which was set up to help teachers introduce computers into the classroom.  It was only three days long, but as each hour went by, I felt worse and worse.  I finally went to the doctor and found out I had pneumonia, a type which is common in SWINE and children.  I don’t know how it affects the swine but children generally hardly know they are sick. 

I caught it from one of the kids, and I was sick the entire summer.  I mean lying on the couch unable to do a thing sick.  Around the beginning of August I thought I’d go outside and sit on a chair in the sun but it set me back and it was the couch for me for a couple more weeks.

There was also the usual “lice” scare every year and as the years went by they became harder and harder to get rid of.  Letters had to be sent home to parents, and as soon as you saw the distinctive yellow notes in your mailbox, your head would start to itch and you’d be sure the pesky things had set up house in your hair.  We used to start checking each other for lice right away but I can honestly say that in 45 years of teaching, not even once did anyone in my class get lice and the  pesky creatures never did set up housekeeping in my tresses.

The, in February 2010, I retired.  No more flu, no more sore throats,no more lost voice, no more chills, and no more fever.

UNTIL NOW!  Yes, I am sick.  It’s only been two days but I feel like I’ve been sick for a year.  Well, I have been sick since 2011 and it is now 2012, so…  As they say in Bermuda, I have a throat.  I can’t talk and everything aches.

Packing up an entire house in less than a month and unpacking at the other end didn’t do it, but I guess something had to give and I am miserable.

Do you think I can feel better by Tuesday when my sister from Bermuda is coming for a visit?  I hope so ’cause I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!